Last night I was invited to give a talk on my KAP work to the Royston Photographic Society: I was determined to make a good case for KAP so I turned up early, found an open space and got a camera aloft…and got into immediate trouble with the wind speed..
I have been here before but this is was the first time I had the Explorer pull like a horse rather than feather off to one side of the wind window. Too late to bemoan the wrong choice of kite, my PFK was on the back seat of the car…if only I’d checked the met before setting out!
As the line began to howl keeping a safe grip was getting beyond me..I hitched the razor tight line to my harness (thank the lord I’d put it on before getting to this point) and walked it to the nearest fixed point ( a hawthorn in the hedgerow…not ideal but it had a clean 10cm bole) to tie off and begin the walk down. In 10 minutes the camera had shot about 400 frames of which almost all were rubbish, most ruined by motion blur and the rest a bad mix of extreme tilt and autofocus fails.
Because of the cold I’d decided not to bother with an RC session and AutoKAP seemed the easiest option: I keep the A2300 in my pocket for just this sort of thing. Just as well as the line began to bite I knew any camera would be in for a really rough ride up there!
The wind record shows the average to have been 22mph with gusts of 30: way too much for the explorer and a bit of a handful for the PFK too. I’d imagined the wind would drop in the evening as it often does but it just kept pushing harder.
After some serious help from the KAP forum I decided the best answer to the ‘why use a kite?’ question was: it is the cheapest way of raising a camera 60m! Of course it is the most unreliable too- as my short adventure in to Bft 5 demonstrated all too clearly!